The Hydden View: Wrestle Kingdom 9, Some Thoughts
This past weekend Global Force Wrestling (GFW) presented New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 9. After the show the internet and the IWC blew up, as was expected the show was very good. Many statements could be read “Wrestle Kingdom 9 greatest show ever” “WWE take notice” “WK9 better than WWE”, and many more. I have now watched the show 4 times and I will admit it’s incredible; I am going to share a few thoughts on the show.
Tag Team Division: I am pretty sure I watched perhaps one of the best tag team matches I have ever seen, that didn’t include tables, ladders, or chairs. It is easy two say that 3 of the top ten tag teams in the world were in that match. The moves and double team moves were innovative and new. Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish or better known as reDRAGON are great wrestlers, and an argument could be made they are three of the best teams in the world. The Time splitters and the Forever Hooligans are also very complete tag teams. Alex Shelly has always been a great tag team competitor but may have found his best partner to date in Kushida. The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team championships are one of the most prestigious set of titles in the history of wrestling, and the match at Wrestle Kingdom 9 only added to its legacy.
The Young Bucks: You will have noticed I did not mention the Young Bucks in the above paragraph. First let’s get this out of the way, Matt and Nick are two of the most talented wrestlers I have ever seen, they helped put on a hell of a show this past weekend. When they realize just how talented they truly are and reach their full potential then maybe, just maybe they will be worth all the high praise Jim Ross gave them. I understand that sometimes being arrogant is part of the act and when the cameras go of your as nice and respectful as can be. The Young Bucks clearly are not this, they need to truly mature before they go much further. First thing first stop tweeting. If a wrestling promotion makes you an offer and you feel the offer was insulting do not tweet about it, bring it the promotions attention, no need to disrespect them. I am sure they were not trying to disrespect you, after all they offered you a contract. Many of the other tweets the Young Bucks have been making have just been ignorant. But, let’s get back to the wrestling and there in ring performance. First the whole “suck it” thing, they just look out of place. There moves during the match were not as crisp and clean as the other three teams. The only team that botched a spot all night (more than one) was the Young Bucks. Matt and Nick perhaps that promotion didn’t offer you the money you thought you deserved because they offered it to reDRAGON.
Big men can wrestle: Well if you are use to the big men in the WWE, then you are under the impression all they can do is throw clotheslines, and use the stairs to beat there opponents. I will admit men like Luke Harper and Rusev are trying to change that impression. That was my impression then I watched Tomohiro Ishi vs. Togi Makabe. This match was amazing, and extremely entertaining. In this match we saw suplexes, brainbusters, and huricanranas. We did see clotheslines, punches, and kicks but they were at the appropriate times, and done with such violence. This match should be a reminder to WWE; big men can also be more than big.
Shinsuke Nakamura: I had never seen Nakamura before I watched WK9 but I had heard of him. After finally getting to see him all I got to say is wow. First is the entrance, the way he came to the ring was a show of its own. He was so charismatic and very into entertaining the crowd. He reminded me of a cross between Ric Flair and HBK. His in ring ability spoke for itself; he is one of the greatest I have ever seen. But during the match he never broke character he continued to entertain. If you have never seen this wrestler then you need to.
Can NJPW transition into the American market? In a short answer yes I think they can but there will be some roadblocks. The biggest roadblock I see is the language barrier. Yes they have some American starts but the majority of wrestlers speak Japanese. How would they overcome this? I believe they have three options.
Subtitles and translator
I believe any of these options could work. It will be interesting to see how NJPW does in the American market in the months to come.
Overall show: If you’re looking for pure wrestling, limited gimmicks, and a fast paced show then WK9 is perhaps one of the greatest shows you will ever see. Every match on the card was a minimum 3 star match, with most being 4 or 5 stars in my opinion. I know I didn’t cover every match and every wrestler; this is mostly because I don’t have that much time. I focused on the things that stuck with me the most. WK9 has set the bar for ppv’s in 2015. I refuse to compare WK9 with WrestleMania, because these are two different promotions that offer a different style of entertainment. I know one thing for sure NJPW is a very talented group of wrestlers ad is going to make waves in 2015